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Showing posts from January, 2012

Cornwall Council's twitter ban

Today the Conservative leader of Cornwall Council took the bizarre step of banning councillors from communicating on the internet during meetings. A few councillors (lamentably none from MK) tweet during meetings, understandably some tweets criticise the regime and these have caught the attention of Cllr Robertson. I am all in favour of people tweeting from such meetings, it provides an insight into the democratic process. It is interesting for a wide range of people, voters, organisations, political activists and journalists can quickly get the opinions of councillors. Their reactions and thoughts without spin as issues in the chamber are discussed. It also invites users of twitter to challenge the views of councillors and ask for clarification on their views in the chamber or in tweets. The real beauty therefore is that it invites people to witness the democratic process and engage with it, this is a great thing for democracy. Also the ban is rather pointless, meetings are webcast a…

The Cornish language film Tamara, a quick review

Last year at the Cornwall Film Festival awards, Will Coleman's short Cornish language film Tamara won the Govyn Kernewek award. Thankfully it is available to watch online, which is highly commendable. For many of the films featured in the awards do not make it to the wide audiences online, which is a great shame as there is a wealth of talent in film making in Cornwall. Like many aspects of Cornish culture there is a unique view of the world and of Cornwall and the Cornish expressed very clearly and coherently, it could be said that there is an undercurrent of a sub-culture constantly simmering away in Kernow. Music has always been at the forefront of this and the influence of Cornish musicians is very evident in performances in Cornwall and further beyond. The names of people from Cornwall have carved their names into the history of music, Mick Fleetwood, Roger Taylor, Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert, the Fisherman's Friends, Sue Aston, James Morrison and Ruarri Joseph to name but a …

government position of ignoring Cornish identity is untenable

In July last year the 2nd Cornish national minority report was published. It urged the government to recognise the difference of the Cornish people in law by adding the Cornish into the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, link here to the pdf. Basically this means that the government officially recognises Cornish difference and admits that we are a different people and deserve as much recognition as any other background within the UK. As of yet and as far as I am aware the government has not added the Cornish. This is despite the fact that the Prime Minister himself admitted: "I think Cornish national identity is very powerful". Note he doesn't question whether the Cornish people do form a national identity but accepts it as a fact. He certainly is not alone in the Conservative party, the leader of Cornwall Council co-signed the report as did the leaders of all the party groups on the council: Liberal Democrat, Mebyon Kernow, Labour and the le…

senior Cornish Tory echoes MK policy to lobby for a Cornish police force

Very pleased to see that the Conservative cabinet member and councillor for Bodmin, Lance Kennedy echoing my call to devolve policing to Cornwall. It's always been the policy of Mebyon Kernow that all governmental institutions and bodies be devolved to Cornwall including the police force. The idea is certainly not that radical, at the moment Devon and Cornwall police force is the biggest in England and the smallest constabularies are smaller than Cornwall.

It is also very encouraging to see a councillor taking up the baton of fighting for a Cornish police force. On the 6th of September 2011 a majority of Cornwall councillors voted that:

The Council urgently meets with the Chief Constable and Chair of Devon and Cornwall Police Authority to assert:

(i) equal partnership between Devon and Cornwall
(ii) fair division of resource
(iii) policing style relevant and effective for Cornwall
(iv) equal representation in governance of policeThe Council Send a strong cross party delegation to Home…

high time austerity applied to the ruling classes

I am absolutely appalled to read of plans, of government ministers planning to buy the Queen a yacht. These millionaires probably don't realise in their fancy houses and fancy cars that things have changed over the last few years. Here in the real world, wages are stagnating, companies going bankrupt, prices rising, unemployment rising. So it's so disappointing to read that the Queen's cousin and Prime Minister David Cameron  and the Duke of Cornwall support lavishing yet more tax payers money onto the monarch.

These people are millionaires, they don't want for anything, choices of homes and castles to live in paid for by the taxpayer and God knows what other extravagances and they barely need to spend their own money to sustain this gluttonous lifestyle. Meanwhile the government is trying to railroad through the Lords plans to cut the disability living allowance. So people who have a hard time in life who struggle will have a harder time and struggle more whilst the r…

the Scottish independence referendum and an assembly for Cornwall

The news and political classes are abuzz with the prospect of Scottish independence. A very real and exciting landmark in UK politics is upon us, whatever the outcome, the SNP and their talented leader Alex Salmond are making history. In the years to come historians, enthusiasts and commentators will speculate on the events of the next few years attempting to see where it all went right or wrong for the parties involved. If Scotland does get independence, the UK will yet again shrink on a comparable scale with the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, hopefully this time peacefully. If Scotland does not leave the union, if Cameron, Miliband and Clegg can join together and sell the benefits of union successfully, the UK will still change. The dominant idea of centuries that the people of these isles should be ruled exclusively by London is seriously under question. The nature of the union itself has to change and adapt to meet these realities. The idea that London knows best and is…

thinking about devolution to Cornwall and a Cornish assembly

I hope all of my readers had a great Xmas and New Year and ate and drank too much (I certainly did) and caught up with family and had a good break. Welcome back and I hope 2012 is a good year for you all.

Just a quick blog to add some comments about a Cornish assembly. I blogged late last year (A Case for a Cornish Assembly) arguing that politics needs to change in Cornwall, to unlock Cornwall's potential. That our poor economy and poor state of governance could be changed with devolution and that politics could work better for the people of Cornwall if we end the decades of centralisation and start having a greater say in our own affairs whilst remaining part of the UK. Today both the Huffington Post and the Independent have picked up on the story about the EDM: Tenth Anniversary of a Cornish Assembly. It seems that people in London are noticing.... The articles in the Indy and Huff Post seem to be remarkably similar, the former leads with Cornish Devolution Campaign Revived by S…